The Kerala High Court has ordered the shops in the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kochi, to shut down for the smooth conduct of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup matches there. However, the shop owners will get a compensation.
The court was hearing the plea by the shop owners. The order will reportedly result in the closure of 236 shops from September 25 till the event is over.
The High Court also ordered the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) to deposit a sum of Rs. 25 lakhs with the Government treasury. The money will be be used to compensate the shop owners for loss in business and the employees for loss of opportunity to earn their salaries.
“The administration shall be entitled to close down the premises and the petitioners shall cooperate in the said exercise,” Justice K Vinod Chandran said.
Six league matches and one pre-quarterfinal and quarterfinal each are scheduled to be held at the stadium.
FIFA had instructed the local authorities to give a complete handover of the stadium premises for the U-17 World Cup events. The world governing body for football had threatened to shift the matches out of Kochi had the local authorities failed to give a full handover with no occupancy in the stadium other than the mandatory offices and operations teams required for the event. The GCDA had served notices to the shop owners to close the shutters to fulfill the guarantee of security.
The local organising committee of the FIFA U-17 tournament had said this was a matter between the GCDA and the individuals concerned, but expressed hope that a suitable resolution for both parties could be arrived at.